Camille Kouchner, Lisa Vignoli and Yasmina Reza: the must-read authors

Jacqueline Divine

In this month of January and February, no less than 493 books make their literary return. Do you already feel dizzy at the thought of looking for the book that's right for you? Don't panic, we have unearthed the nuggets you should not miss under any circumstances. Follow the guide.

La familia grande , Camille Kouchner

Le livre la familia grande de Camille Kouchner aux éditions Seuil.

The promise : it is the phenomenon book of the daughter of Bernard Kouchner and Evelyne Pisier who incriminates her stepfather Olivier Duhamel as a pedophile. At the heart of the scandal: the denunciation of the incest suffered by his twin brother in the total indifference of their mother and the intelligentsia “ the left of the left bank ” who knew.

The pitch: it all started as a delicious family saga. Camille and her brothers grow up in the freedom and joy of living, raised by their mother, a muse of the 70's and former mistress of Fidel Castro . Separated from their doctor father Bernard, austere and always absent, Evelyne Pisier finds love in the arms of political scientist Olivier Duhamel. Together with her beloved sister, the actress Marie-France Pisier and their feminist grandmother “ La Grande familia ”, they form a happy clique which only lives in groups between the 6th and the summers in Sanary-sur-Mer where the house is always packed with friends. It is forbidden to prohibit, we roll shovels, we bathe naked, we dance, we talk about politics and all points of view are admitted, we drink, we smoke and we laugh ... Until the suicide of the grandmother who leaves Evelyne devastated and ravaged by alcoholism. The innocence of childhood is erased and Victor confesses to his sister Camille Duhamel's forays into his room, making him swear not to reveal anything.

Why you'll love: endowed with a remarkable pen, Camille Kouchner denounces a social taboo with a wonderfully mastered sense of the story that gives a universal character to her story. It is characteristic of great literary works. Splendor and misery among the sixty-eight: this family story sketches the subtle portrait of an era and an environment which allows everything and even the worst in the name of freedom. Indirect victim, Camille Kouchner clinically deciphers the hold of an adored stepfather who makes them believe that hell is normal, the complicity of a mother who prefers to accuse her children ... And the weight of secrets that spoils you over the years, until suffocation.

La Familia Grande by Camille Kouchner

The lawyer was a woman , Julia Minkowski and Lisa Vignoli

Livre l'avocat était une femme de Julia Minkowski et Lisa Vignoli aux éditions JC Lattès

The promise: the wife of Benjamin Griveaux , herself a lawyer, and the journalist Lisa Vignoli ( Le Monde , Vanity Fair ) portray 7 powerful women who have been able to bypass the dusty sexism of their profession to become great “ tenoras ” of the bar.

The pitch: Céline Lasek, Cécile de Oliveira, Frédérique Pons, Caroline Toby, Frédérique Baulieu, Mariane Dosé… The greatest French criminal lawyers recount the trials that marked their lives: the Bertrand Cantat affair , the gang of barbarians at the origin the murder of Ilan Halimi or the trial of serial rapist Guy Georges .

Why you are going to like it: are you a fan of various facts, the Netflix doc on the Grégory affair and the book The adversary by Emmanuel Carrère? Open your eyes wide. Because in addition to telling us about empowerment and exceptional women, this collection of testimonies reveals the backstage of the most sensational courts of the twentieth century. We discover for example that Guy Georges, the rapist and serial killer, got confused in court using his wrong hand: while he claimed to be right-handed, the civil party lawyer saw him use his hand left, like the killer, during the trial.

JC Lattès, 18 €

Over the rainbow, Constance Joly

Livre Over the Rainbow de Constance Joly aux éditions Flammarion

The promise : a moving novel in the tradition of 120 beats per minute about the coming out of a father in the 80s.

The pitch: " He's one of the old homos who died the first ": blunt words which push Constance to go back in time to her father's story. Jacques, this Italian teacher passionate about opera who will one day find the strength, after having lived in shame, to be who he really is by assuming to love men. By leaving his wife, Jacques takes advantage of the life he has in front of him, of his apartment near the Grands Boulevards with his lover who is passionate about exhibitions and visits to castles, from the rainbow colors to trips to Greece to in the 90s when he was swept away by AIDS .

Why you'll love: it's impossible to remain unmoved by reading this sensitive and moving autobiographical text. With a sumptuous pen and looking back on a superb father-daughter relationship, Constance Joly ( Morning is a tiger ) here makes a magnificent declaration of love which seems to revive a father carried away too quickly by a taboo disease at the time.

Flammarion , 180 pages, 17 €

That morning , Gaëlle Josse

Livre ce matin là de Gaëlle Josse aux éditions Noir sur Blanc.

The promise: a punch book on burnout.

The pitch: hyper-invested in her company, Clara is not going back to work this October morning. Head and heart in turmoil, forced to put her life on hold, the 30-something lets the voicemail messages from those around her accumulate. How to reinvent yourself to finally find your place? With her own poetry, the writer of Une Long Impatience continues to tell us a particular and perfectly universal story.

Why you'll love it: Because unless you're a robot, this heartwarming book will speak to you. Who has never woken up with dizzying discouragement, a desire to give up everything, to send everything to waltz? Gaëlle Josse's pen ( A woman in backlight ) manages to perfectly match the emotions of a restless brain.

Novel, Black on white editions , 224 pages, 17 €

Storms , Sylvain Prudhomme

Livre les orages de Sylvain Prudhomme aux éditions Gallimard

The promise : news that will make you enjoy every moment.

The pitch: a sister with suspended dreams following the news of her brother's cancer, a grandfather who begins to lose his memory, a father who comes back to life after the miraculous recovery of his dying son, a couple whose passion s suddenly, a farewell to an apartment filled with memories… So many destinies confronted with decisive interior upheavals, at times when everything can turn for the better or the worse.

Why you'll love: Did you already like Par les routes , this novel by Sylvain Prudhomme which won the Femina prize last year? You will love this collection of short stories populated by deep and endearing characters. As sensitive as they are universal, the destinies told know thunderstorms that wash the paths to leave calm and light behind them. Right texts on what makes us alive.

News, Gallimard , 192 pages, 18 €

Serge , Yasmina Reza

Livre Serge de Yasmina Reza aux éditions Flammarion

The promise: the famous Art playwright returns with a highly anticipated novel that explores the importance of memory and family roots, the bond and the places of each in a sibling as heterogeneous as it is united.

The pitch : since her mother died of cancer, the family of Jean, the narrator, has gone awry. But in a family populated by adults as different as they are endearing, Jean, the youngest, cherishes the links he has with his sister Nana, the mannered darling, and Serge, the eldest leader and grumpy since always.

Why you will love : each with messy lives punctuated by ruptures, joys, disappointments and illnesses, it is together, for the education of Serge's daughter, that these non-practicing Jews of Viennese origin surrender at Auschwitz . There, in this place overrun with tourist buses, family tensions crystallize. While Jean reads Les Naufragés et les Rescapés by Primo Levi , he asks his brother Serge: why haven't they asked more questions about family history? Was the silence on these outdated stories imposed by their parents? By mixing the tragic with the comic, Yasmina Reza ( Babylon ) scrutinizes the family brilliantly in a human comedy with perfect dialogues.

Flammarion , 20 €

And also…


** Revenge is mine, Marie Ndiaye

Livre La vengeance m'appartient de Marie Ndiaye aux éditions Gallimard

If it is not the most addicting novel of the new school year, the new baby of Marie Ndiaye (winner of the Goncourt Prize in 2009 for Three powerful women ) has the merit of being original. On January 5, 2019, Gilles Principaux presented himself to Me Susane's office. His wish ? May this young lawyer recently installed in Bordeaux stand up for his wife Marlyne, who says she drowned their three young children in the bathtub.

Roman, Gallimard , 240 pages, € 19.50

** Everything can be forgotten, Olivier Adam

Livre tout peut s'oublier de Olivier Adam aux éditions Flammarion

The author of I'm fine don't worry is rather in good shape in this new year with a well put together novel. When he learns that Jun and their son Leo have boarded a flight to Japan , Jun's homeland, Nathan jumps on the first plane. But how to assert his father's right in a country where voluntary disappearances are common and where parental authority cannot be shared? A fascinating novel.

Roman, Flammarion , 272 pages, 20 €

Also find the Anomaly, the goncours price and the books to read during the winter .

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